Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Melbourne, 4th day December 29, 2008

Hayden must go

If Matthew Hayden does not decide to end his career after this match, Australia's selectors must be brave enough to finish it for him
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If the MCG Test turns out to be Hayden's send-off it will already be a more fitting exit than other former players received, for Melbourne has been his favourite venue © Getty Images
 

If Matthew Hayden does not decide to end his career after this match, Australia's selectors must be brave enough to finish it for him. In the increasingly likely event that South Africa win the series in Melbourne and the Sydney Test becomes a dead rubber, it would be the perfect time to audition a new partner for Simon Katich in a low-pressure situation.

It's a shame that it has come to this but Hayden's struggle has become so difficult to watch and such a concern for his middle-order colleagues that he can't go on. They are already trying to carry an unfit Andrew Symonds and a weak Hayden adds significantly to the burden. Great players earn credits at the selection table but like a blackjack player running out of chips, Hayden's failures in the Boxing Day Test have been two busts too many.

Even if Australia somehow avoid defeat at the MCG - final-day rain looks like their only chance - there is merit in throwing a fresh face into the Sydney Test. Look what happened when South Africa gave JP Duminy a chance. And with a trip to South Africa fast approaching and the Ashes in England to follow, Australia cannot support an out-of-form opener any longer.

Hayden has made two half-centuries from 15 innings since returning to the Test side for the tour of India after recovering from an ongoing heel injury. In Australia's four home Tests this summer he has 79 runs at 11.28. His lean run pales in comparison with the infamous slump of another left-hand opener, Mark Taylor, who from 1995 to 1997 went 21 Test innings without passing fifty.

Taylor was extremely fortunate to keep his position but he had two things on his side: he was the captain of a winning outfit and at 33 it was felt he had several good years left. At 37 and in a team that is starting to lose more than it wins, Hayden has neither get-out clause.

Nor is there room for sympathy. A farewell Test at the SCG would be a sentimental moment but Australian selectors have not been noted for their compassion in previous seasons. Ian Healy's last Test was in Zimbabwe and he was denied the chance to say goodbye with one final match at his home ground the Gabba.

Mark Waugh ended with a Test in Sharjah, though he didn't know it was his finale. He wanted to play on for the 2002-03 Ashes; the selectors did not pick him and he took the hint and retired. If the MCG Test turns out to be Hayden's send-off it will already be a more fitting exit than Healy and Waugh received; Melbourne has been Hayden's favourite venue.

But does the new group of selectors under Andrew Hilditch have the same clinical approach as the panel did when Trevor Hohns was in charge? They should remember that when Healy was nudged aside, his replacement Adam Gilchrist won over the Brisbane crowd by the end of his first match. The Australia players had a new match-winner in their side. Fans and team-mates move on.

And how will they ever know if there's another star waiting in first-class cricket unless they try him? The New South Wales opener Phillip Hughes, 20, is having a phenomenal season. He's the same age that AB de Villiers was when he made his Test debut and Australia need only think back a week to realise what de Villiers has learnt in four years on the international scene.

 
 
Does the new group of selectors under Andrew Hilditch have the same clinical approach as the panel did when Trevor Hohns was in charge? They should remember that when Healy was nudged aside, his replacement Adam Gilchrist won over the Brisbane crowd by the end of his first match. Fans and team-mates move on
 

Then there's Chris Rogers, who played the Perth Test last summer before losing his Cricket Australia contract. He is 31, but a switch of states has revitalised him and he is averaging 82.62 this season. In any case, Phil Jaques should be fit by the time the Ashes comes around and he and Simon Katich can form a strong partnership. It would be useful to have a backup who has had a decent taste of the action.

When Hayden was caught driving to short cover for 23, he trudged off the MCG with his head bowed. It was not the exit he envisaged and injuries to Brett Lee and Symonds might yet save him for Sydney. Australia will be loath to lose three long-standing players in one Test.

Symonds carried a knee problem into the Boxing Day Test and was tentative in the field and unable to bowl medium-pace. His scores of 27 and 0 will increase the calls for Shane Watson to replace him. If both a hobbling Symonds and his great mate Hayden play in Sydney it will be a poor reflection on the selectors. Opportunities for risk-free change don't come often in Australian cricket. This chance cannot be let to slip.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • croneyes on January 1, 2009, 12:15 GMT

    I am pleased that I'm not the only one to recognise Hayden has benefited from favourable umpiring decisions, as did most of the Aussies under Bucknor and Koertzen for many years. Maybe no coincidence that they are starting to falter without them there, although most got themselves out thanks to poor shot selection in the 2nd Test. Hayden has a fantastic record but it will forever be argued that most runs came against much weaker opposition and he struggled against quality bolwing. At 37 and after a bad form, it is time to step aside, but like old boxers, the inflated egos and cash incentives become obstacles and they play on and on until ultimately disgraced and beaten by younger fitter man and fade out as a loser by which they are remembered. I think it absolutely farcial and selfish that Hayden stated he wants to play at the Ashes, a plan supported by a clearly inept selection panel, and expects the fans to get behind him. Now is time to "walk" and be remembered as a champion Matt

  • Clyde on January 1, 2009, 11:46 GMT

    The game is played by players and Haydos can retire when the players, including him, decide. Cricket played by selectors is a nebulous and unsatisfying concept.

  • cricket50 on December 31, 2008, 3:18 GMT

    Yes, As such I am not a great fan of Hayden. He score most of his run in a couple of series at home and most of the time he benefitted umpiring mishaps. He will be able to make runs only if bucknor get back to umpire a game. He is lucky to get compared with some of the greats but does he deserve that ? oh hell NO what he deserves is a big boot on his backside.. off you go.. Haydo.. pds

  • Tuffers_I on December 30, 2008, 11:33 GMT

    The Australian bowling attack has been decimated by the retirement of key players and the batting has been unable to provide the inadequate bowling, which has failed to provide or defend totals, with adequate totals to defend. Add to this the retirements in recent years of the batting line-up and they find themselves here. What happened to the Academy of which we heard so much in the heady years of series-to-series victories over all-comers and where are the players that we heard it was producing? Ambidextrous bowlers was something I read about. What they'd give for 1 more player of world class in any department now to relieve some pressure. At the end of the day, domination of any sport, is only sustainable for as long as it lasts, others will catch up over time or you will be found out in one way or another. Hayden has had a great run, but it's over. Australia are still a good side, but no longer a great one. The revolution is welcome for cricket fans the world over.

  • Chimpdaddy on December 30, 2008, 6:34 GMT

    I agree with most of you that Hayden *had* a great career. But it is coming to a close. At 37, out of form, and getting bad luck aswell it is time for him to retire. As the article stated, Australia are no longer the winning side they once were. We cannot afford to carry dead weight players, hoping they regain form. This is a professional competition, not some backyard shin-dig. You don't perform, your dropped, its that simple. Hayden has been given enough chances (albeit with some bad luck), but it is time to inject some fresh blood in the side. If Hayden wants to play for Australia again, he should go back to state level and *earn* his way back. Regain his form and prove himself that he is good enough to compete with the best. To be the best, you need to have the best. Hayden is no longer fits that role. There are good state level players who deserve a shot. Young players who can mature and become greats. We've got two tough series left, SA and the Ashes. Let's not blow it.

  • redneck on December 30, 2008, 6:24 GMT

    this article should be hilditch its time to go!!! seriously johnston is the only bowler who should have played this test! krezja should have been the spinner, siddle not that he was the worst in the match, but how on earth is he being selected before more worthy quicks playing in the domestic comp??? and lee quite clearly wasnt right before the test. symonds isnt capable of being the allrounder due to injury and also shouldnt have played! we have noffkee the leading wicket taker domesticly last year and he can do more than just hold a bat, bracken the WORLD NUMBER 1 ODI bowler at present! why he has not been given another shot at tests is beyond me??? he has experience and that is exactly what the aussie attack needs!!! and the list doesnt stop there bollinger, tait, hilfenhaus, geeves, macgoffin, ryan harris and the list goes on! even james hopes has done some good things in the one day team, how about giving him a go at 6? hilditch & co have alot to answer for not just the players.

  • DulipRanji on December 30, 2008, 6:17 GMT

    Dravid and Hayden are in different situations.. Dravid is being carried by a winning team, while Hayden is burdening a losing one.

    Always felt that Hayden was a beneficiary of the brilliance of Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist... really! Couldn't digest the fact that he was spoken in the same sentence as Tendulkar and Lara once.

  • cook on December 30, 2008, 6:10 GMT

    Of course Hayden should go. Yes he has been a great player for Australia, but we are losing series now. It's not as though we are winning games and we can keep players like Hayden in the side just so they can get a "proper" send off. If the selectors keep Hayden in the side, what message does it give to players like Chris Rogers and Phillip Hughes who have been outstanding this year ? Bite the bullet and give guys a go that are in form. David Hussey is another that should be given a go, he is just like his brother and look at what he has done since he has come into the test team. Put David Hussey in to replace Symonds who is injured. He may not be an allrounder but Symonds hasn't been bowling anyway.

  • chamaracdj on December 30, 2008, 5:49 GMT

    Hayden is a great player.so he should have another chance to play.It is not good to take decisions that much of faster to axe hayden due to the pressure of the media.

  • test-lover on December 30, 2008, 5:26 GMT

    No I certainly do not. Brydon Coverdale, I've searched the history books and don't see your name in the Australian players list. Alas this means you are just a journo. Australian selectors, team mates and supporters owe this legend of the game. He'll be in Sydney, South Africa and then belting the Poms in England, then he'll retire in Brisbane next year where he deserves to leave the game. Hang tough Haydos & thank god modern day players ignore articles & comments in papers, web sites and from ex players. I'll be in Sydney to see him score test century number 31

  • croneyes on January 1, 2009, 12:15 GMT

    I am pleased that I'm not the only one to recognise Hayden has benefited from favourable umpiring decisions, as did most of the Aussies under Bucknor and Koertzen for many years. Maybe no coincidence that they are starting to falter without them there, although most got themselves out thanks to poor shot selection in the 2nd Test. Hayden has a fantastic record but it will forever be argued that most runs came against much weaker opposition and he struggled against quality bolwing. At 37 and after a bad form, it is time to step aside, but like old boxers, the inflated egos and cash incentives become obstacles and they play on and on until ultimately disgraced and beaten by younger fitter man and fade out as a loser by which they are remembered. I think it absolutely farcial and selfish that Hayden stated he wants to play at the Ashes, a plan supported by a clearly inept selection panel, and expects the fans to get behind him. Now is time to "walk" and be remembered as a champion Matt

  • Clyde on January 1, 2009, 11:46 GMT

    The game is played by players and Haydos can retire when the players, including him, decide. Cricket played by selectors is a nebulous and unsatisfying concept.

  • cricket50 on December 31, 2008, 3:18 GMT

    Yes, As such I am not a great fan of Hayden. He score most of his run in a couple of series at home and most of the time he benefitted umpiring mishaps. He will be able to make runs only if bucknor get back to umpire a game. He is lucky to get compared with some of the greats but does he deserve that ? oh hell NO what he deserves is a big boot on his backside.. off you go.. Haydo.. pds

  • Tuffers_I on December 30, 2008, 11:33 GMT

    The Australian bowling attack has been decimated by the retirement of key players and the batting has been unable to provide the inadequate bowling, which has failed to provide or defend totals, with adequate totals to defend. Add to this the retirements in recent years of the batting line-up and they find themselves here. What happened to the Academy of which we heard so much in the heady years of series-to-series victories over all-comers and where are the players that we heard it was producing? Ambidextrous bowlers was something I read about. What they'd give for 1 more player of world class in any department now to relieve some pressure. At the end of the day, domination of any sport, is only sustainable for as long as it lasts, others will catch up over time or you will be found out in one way or another. Hayden has had a great run, but it's over. Australia are still a good side, but no longer a great one. The revolution is welcome for cricket fans the world over.

  • Chimpdaddy on December 30, 2008, 6:34 GMT

    I agree with most of you that Hayden *had* a great career. But it is coming to a close. At 37, out of form, and getting bad luck aswell it is time for him to retire. As the article stated, Australia are no longer the winning side they once were. We cannot afford to carry dead weight players, hoping they regain form. This is a professional competition, not some backyard shin-dig. You don't perform, your dropped, its that simple. Hayden has been given enough chances (albeit with some bad luck), but it is time to inject some fresh blood in the side. If Hayden wants to play for Australia again, he should go back to state level and *earn* his way back. Regain his form and prove himself that he is good enough to compete with the best. To be the best, you need to have the best. Hayden is no longer fits that role. There are good state level players who deserve a shot. Young players who can mature and become greats. We've got two tough series left, SA and the Ashes. Let's not blow it.

  • redneck on December 30, 2008, 6:24 GMT

    this article should be hilditch its time to go!!! seriously johnston is the only bowler who should have played this test! krezja should have been the spinner, siddle not that he was the worst in the match, but how on earth is he being selected before more worthy quicks playing in the domestic comp??? and lee quite clearly wasnt right before the test. symonds isnt capable of being the allrounder due to injury and also shouldnt have played! we have noffkee the leading wicket taker domesticly last year and he can do more than just hold a bat, bracken the WORLD NUMBER 1 ODI bowler at present! why he has not been given another shot at tests is beyond me??? he has experience and that is exactly what the aussie attack needs!!! and the list doesnt stop there bollinger, tait, hilfenhaus, geeves, macgoffin, ryan harris and the list goes on! even james hopes has done some good things in the one day team, how about giving him a go at 6? hilditch & co have alot to answer for not just the players.

  • DulipRanji on December 30, 2008, 6:17 GMT

    Dravid and Hayden are in different situations.. Dravid is being carried by a winning team, while Hayden is burdening a losing one.

    Always felt that Hayden was a beneficiary of the brilliance of Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist... really! Couldn't digest the fact that he was spoken in the same sentence as Tendulkar and Lara once.

  • cook on December 30, 2008, 6:10 GMT

    Of course Hayden should go. Yes he has been a great player for Australia, but we are losing series now. It's not as though we are winning games and we can keep players like Hayden in the side just so they can get a "proper" send off. If the selectors keep Hayden in the side, what message does it give to players like Chris Rogers and Phillip Hughes who have been outstanding this year ? Bite the bullet and give guys a go that are in form. David Hussey is another that should be given a go, he is just like his brother and look at what he has done since he has come into the test team. Put David Hussey in to replace Symonds who is injured. He may not be an allrounder but Symonds hasn't been bowling anyway.

  • chamaracdj on December 30, 2008, 5:49 GMT

    Hayden is a great player.so he should have another chance to play.It is not good to take decisions that much of faster to axe hayden due to the pressure of the media.

  • test-lover on December 30, 2008, 5:26 GMT

    No I certainly do not. Brydon Coverdale, I've searched the history books and don't see your name in the Australian players list. Alas this means you are just a journo. Australian selectors, team mates and supporters owe this legend of the game. He'll be in Sydney, South Africa and then belting the Poms in England, then he'll retire in Brisbane next year where he deserves to leave the game. Hang tough Haydos & thank god modern day players ignore articles & comments in papers, web sites and from ex players. I'll be in Sydney to see him score test century number 31

  • itay128 on December 30, 2008, 4:40 GMT

    Haydos should be given a chance in Sydney, since he has been given out to some shocking decisions by umpires.

    For those who didn't know, Bollinger and McDonald are in the 13 man squad, so I assume that Lee and Symonds will be out... and Australia will be in a tough rebuilding phase.

  • OneCricketFreak on December 30, 2008, 4:39 GMT

    I think this is article and headline is stupid. I have never posted on this forum but I have been avid follower of cricket for 30 years. This is the first time I'm posting here but...Come on.... Matt is the man. He will fight back. It is too early for someone to even suggest that he is done. I think people who suggest this article needs to go online, I suggest that writer needs to face a few minutes facing Bond, Steyn, Zaheer and see what it takes to be Matt. I'm follower of Indians by birth but I like Matt. I think this IS the moment that everyone should back him and Punter. I think the champions are made for such moments. I don't want Matt to go away like this and I hope that selectors don't make the mistake. This is it... This is the time for Matt and Aussies to rise. I have always supported Dravid for Indians. Matt is different, he is like Shewag for Aussies. If you ever read this Matt, Don't listen to this crap, you have it and you will overcome it! Come on world is watching!

  • the_silent_observer on December 30, 2008, 4:32 GMT

    good to see Australians getting into the same sort of discussions that grip Indian fans on whether some should be retained or dropped and why. if we have Gangulys and Dravids to be part of the conversational topics, you guys do have Hayden and Symonds. Birds of the same flock ?!?!?

    cheers

  • arsalanyousuf on December 30, 2008, 4:30 GMT

    MATT HAYDEN is a champion player ---------- he has won matches single handedly for cricket austrailia -------- we should not go tht far just remember the world cup where in almost every match austrailia played he got a hundred he was in sublime form nnnnnn he is really a class act i think austrailia shud not do such act of unkindness to him i think the best solution is tht selectors shud tell him tht he shud go back to the domestic level and regain his form n come back to the team --------hayden is ideal of many left handed openers n i think he really a class act when he gets goin so i believe he shud be given a chance not a chance infact chances

  • Tanweer_Tannu_Nawada_Malaysia on December 30, 2008, 4:19 GMT

    I am a big fan of MARK WAUGH even he was droped from the aussies side after the sarjah test then why not Hayden.he has to go now. At the age of 37 and not making runs or taking wickets you have to go. Any good team will not take you considering the form you are in "mr.Hayden". AUSSIES SELECTOR MUST MAKE A NOTE OF THAT. GO HAYDEN GO HAYDEN GO....

  • jrnmorris on December 30, 2008, 4:11 GMT

    What a pathetic display by the Aussies! I cant believe it! They let the Saffers walked over them. Thats not an Aussie trademark! Get rid of the injured and out of form players! The coach are to blame for the series defeat, the batsman threw they wickets away and the bowling attack a disgrase! Ponting cant do it on his own.

  • CiMP on December 30, 2008, 2:38 GMT

    No. Matt has done great deeds for his team and he may yet regain form in the last test like Dravid did recently. If he gets back to form it will help Aus in SA as well as in the Ashes.

  • Abhithen on December 30, 2008, 2:26 GMT

    Come on guys..... If Hayden bids good bye the Aussies wont even score some 200 on the board... Are You kidding??? He is jus out of form and considering South Africa wins the series at Melbourne, then he will be out of pressure and may even score a century at Sydney.. who knows...

  • __PK on December 30, 2008, 2:22 GMT

    Australia only manage to take 20 wickets once in four tests against India and then fail to defend 400+ against South Africa and you think it's a batsman who must go? How many years have you had this article ready to publish, Brydon?

  • JustDoIt423 on December 30, 2008, 2:19 GMT

    It is such a shame to let him go. Agreed that at some point in time everyone has to move on, but this is a special case just as was Gilchrist. Media and selectors do put enormous amount of pressure on these players as currently happening to Rahul Dravid in India. I still believe he has another year of cricket left with him and strongly feel he needs to be allowed to play until next ashes. Personally I like him for his aggressive batting and I believe he is a very obnoxious character. Completely different than Gilly. If he is dropped or rotated then it is fine, but he is such a dangerous batsman who can tear apart the opposition. I wish the Aussies let him stay for another year or so.

  • rohanbala on December 30, 2008, 2:00 GMT

    Definitely not.... Probably, he needs a little break to get back to top form. Its too early for him to be axed as "desired" by Mr Brydon. Hayden should continue to play till the next Ashes series. The Australian selectors ought to make some changes for the New Year Test considering the poor performance of Andrew Symonds and some of the bowlers. Its time for giving a chance to players like Shaun Marsh.

  • Arsalan_Jilani on December 30, 2008, 1:47 GMT

    He should go. At the age of 37 years and consistently no performance, what else can selectors should except showing him the doors. Its time for him to take some rest and do some gardening rather gifting his wicket to opposition. I believe its long been overdue that selectors should kick him out.

  • Slick_Mick on December 30, 2008, 1:41 GMT

    I think the focus should be on the bowling attack and not Hayden. he's not the reason Australia are losing tests - the lack of penetration in the bowling attack is the main issue. I think its time for Lee to go - he has had his day.

  • gibsonx on December 30, 2008, 1:25 GMT

    Yes, Hayden deserves to stay. The bowlers are the problem in this outfit. I don't know who looked at Nathan Hauritz's record and said to themselves "he can bowl a side out'. he never has and never will. As for Symonds playing injured... what is going on there? Get Hughes in the side... get Hilfenhause or Bollinger in (or both) and put in david Hussey for Symonds.

  • teChino on December 30, 2008, 1:14 GMT

    Terrifying doesn't score runs. He's old, he's out of form, he's got very little more to offer. The selectors just need to grow a pair and cull the dead wood that we're carrying. There's just way too many talented players in the domestic competition for us to be accepting consistently poor performances, and also picking injured players. The selectors just don't have the guts.

  • ajaydesai on December 30, 2008, 1:10 GMT

    Australia's reign seems to be over. India and South Africa have beaten them in tests. It also time for all these three teams to revamp their teams as they have to give break to their senior players.India should also not be delighted winning two consective test series against Australia and England, they also need to look for fresh talents particular when Tendulkar and Dravid retires. South Africa needs to look for new talents. Australia needs to greater revamp compared to these teams

  • bharatputra83 on December 29, 2008, 23:45 GMT

    I am an atheist but now I beleive there are certain forces beyond explanation which get back at you. And now those very forces are making sure Hayden (and Symmo) gets what he deserves for being the kind of person he has been. Respecting team mates is one thing and respecting opponents is another, who always was at his worst against India. Perhaps after retirement he will invest more time in family and learn from others how to respect people even if they are average. Would have loved to see Hayden play with new anti-sledging rules coming up though. Too bad it doesnt seem he will last that long. Nonetheless, a great player he is and even with both arguments, he still holds the trump cards to see the phase through. As for humility, heres one more vote to wish that he retires on his own terms and is not just "dropped". Majority of the world would grieve the absence of a great batsmen, but none would grieve the absence of the nature of that batsmen.

  • bharatputra83 on December 29, 2008, 23:44 GMT

    Two views.As with the class of the batsman,he should be given one more final chance.He has been a great opener and many bowlers still regard his batting highly.All respects due there. As far as the class of the "person" is considered, he should still be given another chance. Every team in the world has the right to get back at him for all the sledging he along with a few of his cronies have constantly been doing. It would really help England and SA and other teams with the early breakthroughs they are provided with and it would certainly help for Hayden to know what it feels like when you try to mentally disintegrate someone.

  • TopRedChilly on December 29, 2008, 23:37 GMT

    Hayden should go!!He is a liability and is keeping good players like Shaun Marsh from getting a chance. Pointing should be fired as a captain. He is the worst kind of leader. When we had good players he kind of rode along. He plays for himself and his records. Notice he gets out as soon as he gets his hundred. What a Joke. Proud to be an Aussie but disgraced by his behavior.

  • _kinabalu on December 29, 2008, 23:22 GMT

    I hope that Matt Hayden will take advice from his teammates, friends and family and then make what he considers is the right decision. It must be hard to weigh up what is right, but only he knows what this is. Of course, if he decides to remain available for selection he may get the chance again in Sydney, or not depending on the selectors' decision.

    However, if Matt Hayden is to go, then the choices for his replacement should be wider than just Rogers and Hughes. Former Victorian batsman, and currently South Australian Michael Klinger has been the dominant batsman in Sheffield Shield (906 runs at 90.6), and 367 at 61.17 in the Ford Ranger Cup. With form like that, why is he not the favourite to replace Hayden (if he goes)?

  • DamieninFrance on December 29, 2008, 23:19 GMT

    OK, so it looks like the Aussies are going down. Sadly, even when in front, Australia haven't been able to strangle South Africa out of the contest. As an Aussie, I have to say- well done. BUT, I also have to say- don't get complacent SA! I've waited the better part of 14 years for this sort of challenge. Even India in 2001 and the Ashes 2005 were great, but always seemed like blips on the radar. With SA 2008/09, it's clear that Australia's in trouble and SA are awesome. So, the selectors have to bite the bullet and give some youngsters a chance. I'm a Queenslander as well, so although I would bleed for Mat Hayden, if we lose this test, he's got to go. Bring in Phil Hughes AND Shaun Marsh. Give Kat the choice of where he wants to bat and open with Hughes (and Marsh, if Kat wants to go back to No.4 or 6). Watson for Symonds, Bolly or Hilfy for Lee, and drop Hauritz. Seriously, when PT spinners are as good as 1st choices, let's play to our strengths and go with pace. Time 2 begin!

  • Ozcricketwriter on December 29, 2008, 23:10 GMT

    Right now Australia has many fantastic players in first class cricket who are not being given a shot, which is what is costing the side. We have more great fast bowlers than we have had for the past 50 years - yet we still persist on playing a spinner when we simply do not have any who are test quality (aside perhaps for Bryce McGain). Why is Nathan Bracken earmarked as a one-day specialist? Why are we going for an untried Siddle when there are people like Hilfenhaus, Tait, Noffke and even Bollinger who have much greater credentials? It is a similar situation with the middle order. Michael Hussey is Australia's best opening batsman, yet for some odd reason he is still in the middle order. Push him up to open, and replace Hayden with Michael's brother, David Hussey. Again, there are a myriad of quality middle order batsmen about too. Hayden, though, should be given a goodbye, if he is smart enough to announce his retirement now. Someone talk to him, will they?

  • oenghus69 on December 29, 2008, 22:57 GMT

    If(when) Australia lose this series, rather than keeping Hayden in the team, it is time for him to retire and move on. Yes, he has done well for Australia but we have to look at the team moving forward rather than one player. If we keep him around until the Ashes this means his replacements, apart from Hughes will all be in the 30's. This series reminds me of the Ashes series we lost, we took too long to make changes and it cost us. We have too many players on the wrong side of 30. Yes, you may say who cares but the thing is we should be picking FORM players rather than NAME players. I am not only having a go at Hayden here but also the Australian selection policy. Picking Symonds (injured), what a mistake that has proved to be, picking players who are out of form, yes these players may have experience but the only way to gain experience is by having a go. We should be looking at the long term future of Australia cricket rather than the short term.

  • Sanjaybhai93 on December 29, 2008, 22:45 GMT

    Indeed he is a great player, But Australia need to look towards the future, especially as Australian Cricket is on the decline.

  • redneck on December 29, 2008, 22:24 GMT

    hayden should stay his form will come good!!! he doesnt look bad when hes in, he just seems to get out after hitting 1 or 2 fours. australia dont need to debut another opener seeing they still have phil jaques coming back form injury and he will be higher up the pecking order to be selected when fit than anyone they could debut in sydney! hayden has done so much for the side over the last decade he deserves to be stood by through a lean trot!

  • mustufa on December 29, 2008, 22:20 GMT

    It is an end of an era, the empire is crumbling, as well as Ceaser did to keep it together, his generals are old and tired. Its time for a swift end, and yesterday Ponting knew it was coming, and it is both unfortunate and fortunate for him that he finds himself in the middle of this.

    History will remember him as the player that went from one era to another, one where the team was unstoppable, to an era where they are mortals again.

    Right now Australia has selection problems, I don't think they don't have good enough players, they are just selecting the wrong bunch.

    Watson should never have been dropped after the India tour, Krezja should never have been dropped after Perth. You cannot play 4 avg bowlers, you have to play 5 bowlers, and Watson is that fifth bowler. Also, Johnson can bat, make him bat before Lee, he is good enough to become a bowling all rounder.

  • spreddy1 on December 29, 2008, 22:19 GMT

    i am not at all concerned about whatever u write in your article....i would like to get some clarification on one player in your future article...i do not understand why Shuan Marsh is not playing in the Australian test team....i am 200% sure that he will be a great test player...i really wonder why he is not playing in the team....if australia get in Shaun Marsh in place of Symond/Watson/Katich (it may sound foolish to replace katich at this moment), then Australia will be stable in their batting(this helps them save test matches atleast; their bowling combination cannot win matches for sure)..

  • Banksiaman on December 29, 2008, 22:11 GMT

    Matt the bat has forgotten how to build an innings - he seems compelled to play the big shots without moving his feet. Perhaps it is a result of previous injury and loss of continuity. More likely it is the natural onset of time and the inevitable reduction in eyesight, reflexes and patience. There is no doubting his record and ability, rather as we age it is necessary to adjust our ways and methods. As for "few bad decisions" there is the other side of the coin, plus lack of application will increase the risk of decisions going against you. Test cricket is not a slog-fest and it is folly to think world-class bowlers can be intimidated every innings. Give Matt one more chance to show he still "has it". If not, blood a younger player such as Hughes.

  • Cr1cket_Lover on December 29, 2008, 21:58 GMT

    Hayden should retire. It is time to give new players a chance to make mistakes and prep for the next World Cup. With Aus visiting SA and the Ashes looming on the horizon, the Aussies need to find a working opening pair now, not later. On a side note, this Indian cricket fan also thinks Tendulkar and Dravid should also retire (yes, I know Tendulkar had an outstanding home series against Australia, but he is not a viable part of our future given his age).

  • partymarty4870 on December 29, 2008, 21:45 GMT

    As a one eyed Aussie who has seen Hayden terrorise attacks over the years it's hard for me to admit but he has to go. An opener is supposed to protect the middle order. We have Ponting being a virtual opener these days. We need ponting to fire. And Ponting;s job is harder coming in against the new ball. If it wasn't for Haydens failures I'd say Hussey has to go. But I think we fix the opening problems first, then hopefully the middle order will look after itself.

  • QUDSI on December 29, 2008, 21:30 GMT

    i think the writer of this article has to think before he writes. no one and i mean no one can deny what Hayden did for Australia in every form of the game. he was the one who smashed bowlers in the one day cricket when Gilchrist got out early and to be fair Gilchrist wasn't not a stand out performer in most of his career matches. when u have a big guy, with a huge chest and lethal attack, it makes your opposition physiologically sick.if Australia drop Hayden for Ashes then it seems to me that it will be one of the toughest jobs that Australia will face to win the Ashes in the last 10 to 20 years against England. All previous crickets of Australia and some from England are agreed that he should continue and i believe that he still haven't showed his best. i said Australia and England because the rest of the world wants to see Hayden out of the Australian team, so their new bowl bowlers can easily expose Australian middle order.

  • Shareking on December 29, 2008, 21:21 GMT

    Hayden must go as Ganguly retired. He is nothing but liability on team as he can not bowl. Ponting should also step down as he has lost many matches recently but continue as a team member. for more details, 2020cricket.in

  • king1985 on December 29, 2008, 21:20 GMT

    I think he should be given another chance, you dont "drop" greats of your nation like this, its utter non sense....India kept Sachin, even after he was on his knees to Asif in Karachi...bad patches always come ...and i think it is Hayden's bad patch nothing more then that...his passion for the game is their, his loyalty is their, his stamina and physical fitness is their...all he needs is a tap on the back and things will go right.....no big deal Matty...try harder...thats all....

  • chuBBs1965 on December 29, 2008, 21:06 GMT

    I think that it was the Aussies bowling that led to their defeat in their recent game at home. Bret Lee should retire and what ever happen to Nathan Bracken, if thats his correct name, sorry if not. I think he use to be very good at one time. How come Aus does not have any fast bowler to replace the one they have now, where are the bowlers from the world's greatest cricket academy that the Aussies usually talk about, isn't any one of them good enough to have a shot or isn't there any at the moment. I also think their batting is in trouble too, with Hussey and Symonds.

  • gerardpereira20 on December 29, 2008, 20:12 GMT

    Australia have been looking like a spent force for a long time. starting with the Sydney test against India were they had to stoop so low to win. Its been downhill ever since. You just cant repace the likes of Warne, Mcgrath, Gilchrist, and Langer and keep the party going. India opened the door and South Africa barged in. I can see Oz getting wupped by the Poms and its going to take a lot of the legendry Aussie steel just to compete with the likes os Sri Lanka and the West Indies. The Big boys, India and South africa have a lot of young guns coming through, Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Gambair, AB, JP etc while Oz struggles on with the like of Hayden,,37, Ponting 33,Hussey, Symonds, Lee all in their 30s . The future does not look good and all the sledging, strutting, and mental disintegration is not going to get you through

  • FAnon on December 29, 2008, 20:04 GMT

    Those who live by the sword die by the sword. Haydens refusal to retire gracefully speaks volumes for his innately oppositional nature, his only and utterly one-dimensional ultimately futile reaction of warrior aggression as that solution to every situation. Mindlessly reactive and crude aggression is a stain that has long infected the Australian way - made them the ugly Australians of the contemporary game, universally disliked wherever they go. Border began this method to harden his sides, but method has since disntegrated into crude mindless instinctive behaviour, and blindly taken up as the 'aussie' way by Ponting and his cohorts especially. I wont mourn Haydens passing, or that of Symonds or Ponting. I think that Australia will be a better team without their self-serving crude and often mindless behaviour. Hubris - doubt whether they have know this word let alone its meaning. It would serve their successors well if they look it up.

  • Amit_Naidu on December 29, 2008, 19:43 GMT

    As it is most likely of Australia going into Sydney to avoid Whitewash,I think that Hayden should himself announce his retirement.Its time for some youngsters to come.Also first the injury prone symonds should be replaced by the in-form Watson.It could be that we could see an Australian Bowling line-up with the most experienced bowler having just 5 odd tests under his belt.Also a fact that some have always said its the Team that wins matches and not the captain.Wishing Ponting all the Best and hope that Hussey also comes into good form.

  • DubiousMove on December 29, 2008, 18:52 GMT

    Are you guys crazy ? Maybe he isn't a batting great. Maybe he is in a form slump.

    You don't have a bowler in world cricket today who doesn't feel jittery bowling to Matt.

    I dislike him as a person : he is truly obnoxious. But as a bat, as an opener, f statistics ; he is TERRIFYING. And Oz's "success story" in many times has been built on mind games : and that warrior was Hayden.

    Hayden will go when he can no longer frighten bowlers, not when statistics go bad in a slump.

  • who_wants_to_know on December 29, 2008, 18:40 GMT

    oh come on people.....just a few months ago (on the india tour)....we all had our hopes on hayden in the last test match.......everyone was saying how he can win us the test and tie the series......and to his credit, he did a wonderful job.....

    We serioulsy need to sit back and appreciate this guy....hes a true gem in the otherwise weak aussie batting line-up at the moment......hussey is having even a worse of time and hes not 20 yr old either.....y arent ppl on his case???

    Hayden is a match-winner and australia needs one of thoise....

  • tanveers on December 29, 2008, 18:33 GMT

    I think we are not looking at the real problem here. Retiring Hayden won't make any difference. The real issue is Australian Bowling. Because of their mediocre bowling, they lost the first test and here at MCG again, they could not bowl out SA in the first innings. Furthermore, another issue is Australian fielding. They used to be best fielding sides - not dropping a single chance and holding on to every single opportunity - but now you see they sometimes drop the easiest of the catches. Bad bowling and greasy-hand fielding won't win you test matches against quality sides. Hayden deserves another chance.

  • USGunny on December 29, 2008, 18:16 GMT

    Never mind..Hayden is a wonderful batsman. All he has to do now is hold back his attacking instincts and stay on the wicket a little longer. Rest will fall into place.

    It is his flamboyance , at such a time when he is out of form, that is costing him his wicket.

    Also at 37 he need not fight for his position in the team. He should step aside after this series and let some new blood take his position.

    Thanks

  • cryptq1 on December 29, 2008, 17:40 GMT

    Why is everyone having a go at Hayden. He's never made runs against half decent sides so he is as on form in this series as he's ever been.

  • SpottedHyena on December 29, 2008, 17:18 GMT

    Sad as it is, he should retire before everything fades to dust.

    Thankful nobody's giving Shaun Marsh a look in - as a South African he terrifies me - I know class when I see it and he is DANGEROUS. You can't replace Hayden with some boring batsmen - I'd be only to grateful if Australia miss out on Marsh.

  • Hiteshdevilliers on December 29, 2008, 17:03 GMT

    HAYDEN HAS TO STAY !!!!!. Matthew Hayden has to stay on and the selectors cannot give up on him now. As bad as it may look, Hayden has still been a pillar of Australian cricket for all these years and has been an integral part of the success. There was a similar situation brewing during the 2005 ashes and he came back roaring into form that home summer. The retirements of the greats after the 2006/07 Ashes still have Australia looking for suitable replacements two seasons on after that series. If Hayden is sent packing after this test, it would be a disappointing send off for such an iconic player. For now, PLEASE GIVE HAYDEN ANOTHER CHANCE. I think he still has it left in him to give it his best for a while. There have been players who have played beyond their 40's so why can't Hayden.

  • Bumpster on December 29, 2008, 16:13 GMT

    vezayar, you asked me how I dare I make that comment. Well you only have to google Haydens name to read the many articles about him, and the so called pillaging of runs you speak of.

  • SaifQazi on December 29, 2008, 15:56 GMT

    i kinda sympathise with the australian selectors.. n i have followed australian cricket since their 1999 WC triumph n admired every bit of it.. bt jus cum to think of it, wat has australian cricket gained from ppl retirin from their team.. jus to name a few, Shane Warne, Glenn MacGrath, Adam Gilchrist... these r big names in ne team, in ne era of cricket.. then the less bigger ones, Damien Martyn, Justin Langer, Brad Hogg... these r unbelievable players, cumon... n then askin a player like Haygen to go also... jus adds to the probs of Australian Cricket.. thoh many would argue that his contribution is as good as nuthin... bt u would miss the experience of a player like Hayden in battin n not to forget.. a very safe slip fielder!!

    i know ma arguement would look senseless bt the matter of fact is that the australians arent playin the kinda cricket they've played for 10yrs now!! droppin n axin players wont help i thnk so.. hussey hasnt performed, would u drop him also??

  • vaidyar on December 29, 2008, 15:52 GMT

    Why doesn't shaun marsh get a mention as a possible replacement? I think he'd be phenomenal...! He looks more of limited over material...but just might be the Sehwag for Australia..

  • ksthind on December 29, 2008, 15:34 GMT

    hayden is a great player he just not in the form i think he must get one more chance like dravid. if these players not performing right now that doesnot mean they cant play. playerlike sachin ganguly also past from this stage but if u c his age i suggest its a time to retire but if he want to continue he must get one chance.

  • Rajesh. on December 29, 2008, 15:17 GMT

    I feel sorry to see such a great player go through this,but then Mathew Hayden had opened his mouth far too wide far too often in the past and now it seems like he has put his foot deep into his mouth from where there seems no way out...........

  • JackJ on December 29, 2008, 15:11 GMT

    Yeah, well Coverdale does not cover himself in glory by picking on Hayden. Its too easy. Its not just he who has failed! Mike Hussey has had a disastrous series, yet nobody's calling for his head. In fact, only Punter has looked the part. He's had support from Katich and Clarke, but not enough. Hayden, Hussey and Roy have failed miserably and Aus now has a top 3 instead of a top 6. I think the coach must carry the can. He knew that SA had a dangerous pace attack and failed to prepare the Aus batsmen for the onslaught. I've no doubt better prep would have made a big difference. Roy must go, he's no test number 6, too impulsive and injured to boot. However, Aus has bigger problems in the bowling. Since Clark pulled out, Aus has been in trouble. His absence has fatally weakened the attack. He has the skills and control to keep the pressure on, and SA would not have escaped from 198-7 had he been there. Aus has been more than a little unlucky with injury in addition to retirements.

  • IndianCricLover on December 29, 2008, 15:09 GMT

    Hayden should stay till the summer of 2009. Afterall, which bowling team wouldn't like to make early inroads into the Aussie batting line up. This would also enable some of the teams to get square with the great "sledger".

  • MattyHaydos on December 29, 2008, 14:58 GMT

    I cnt believe the way u guys r talkin bout hayden..u tellin me tht he scored his runs against weaker opponents so tht means when he scored in india in 03 it ws against a weak side...wen he ws da leading run scorer in da world cup it ws against weaker sides..wat u guys r sayin have no truth in it whtsoever..i suggest u go look at his profile nd look at his stats..before u guys judge him....

  • Arvind3 on December 29, 2008, 14:48 GMT

    I am sick of people like Brydon Coverdale jumping on champion players like Hayden and Dravid during a rough patch. Right to express opinions is good, but this is abusing it. To those people I would like to just point out Sanath Jayasuriya as an example. Learn from it! I certainly expected better from cricinfo.

  • Proteas_no-1_Fan on December 29, 2008, 14:19 GMT

    Yeah! I totally agree with Brydon Coverdale. Hayden is now 37.and He is not performing well in this summer. He was given enough chances and he should retire after this test series. They should give a chance to a youngster in the South African tour. But however this well not solve the problem for Aussies because their bowling is not up to the mark and they are not going to take 20 wickets in the match against Proteas. So no chance for Aussies. Proteas may whitewash Aussies and take World No-1 Position this series. If that doesn't happen surely they will be World No-1 after their Home Series. ICC Rankings may suggest Australia are the No-1 Team in the World at the moment but everyone knows that they are no more World No-1 Team.

  • Lennon_Marx on December 29, 2008, 14:16 GMT

    Why stop at just Hayden, Lee and Symonds? Why not take the opportunity of a dead rubber (assuming SA win) and play a completely new side in Sydney with Clarke as captain instead of Ponting? Why not give Ronchi, Hodge, David Hussey, Watson and co a chance to impress against a top quality bowling attack? The worst that can possibly happen is they beat South Africa by an innings, creating a real headache for selectors, if they lose, then the selectors are vindicated for their earlier selections, and nothing is lost for the effort. Given that the old three day Aus A game against the touring side no longer is played, why not use Sydney as an opportunity to prepare your next best eleven for the rigours of test cricket (if they are ever called upon for real)?

  • prashant1 on December 29, 2008, 14:13 GMT

    I think perhaps he should be given a last shot. There is always a good element of luck involved in cricket,especially batting. Even Ponting may well have had a poor match. He could have been out for 24 in the first innings,when a sitter was dropped. And out well before 50 in the second innings when some balls didnt carry to slips/keeper,just missed the edge etc. Ponting's had a so-so year too. And if the catches Hayden offered had been dropped...and he then went on to score?? What then- drop Ponting? Give Hayden a last shot- he deserves it.

  • romero1 on December 29, 2008, 13:53 GMT

    Hayden has always been over rated as an opener. He has scored brilliantly against ordinary bowling or poor fielding sides. A thorough analysis of his career will highlight the fact that every time he has played a strong opposition Hayden has failed. 2005 Ashes is a good example. 2004-05 in India is another where he did not score big. Indian fielding helped him in 2003-04 with some dropped chances or else that would have been a poor season as well.

    This season Hayden has come up against excellent fast bowlers and if it were not for Dravid's sloppy catching generosity, Hayden may not have scored the two 50s he got in India!

  • schak82 on December 29, 2008, 13:18 GMT

    Technical brilliance??? The man who invented the 'aggressive-opener' style does not have technical brilliance? You mean to say that all the runs, the average, all of his greatness are fluke?? His ability to play strokes with supremely timed aggression are the reason we have scores of 300 in ODIs and I believe why T20 can even exist. You have noted his figures in the last 11 innings, but he still has an average of 51. Being a biased fan of India living in Australia, I still spend so much time in awe of Hayden as a performer. I do agree with the behavioural issues but that is fairly normal for a 'fired-up' Aussie such as he is and that sort of behaviour will not be gotten rid of just by his retirement. I humbly suggest, though that he bow out as Ganguly did rather than what Kumble did so that those of us who have been both happy and unhappy about his cricket can feel the same just one more time.

  • billybob67 on December 29, 2008, 13:09 GMT

    I really like Matt Hayden but time has come for him to go. Unless rain saves Australia they have lost this series. Sydney is a great chance to try someone else. Phillip Hughes would be my first on the list as he is young and could be around for sometime, you can't gamble on older players as much as younger ones. Symonds has to be replaced with Watson, that will give Australia 3 fast bowlers since Lee won't be playing. I think to be honest that Hussey needs a run in shield cricket and they can give his brother or maybe North or Klinger a start. That leaves one spot for a bowler or another batsman. Since we can't seem to bowl SA out maybe give Hilfy or Bollinger a cap or maybe Krejza if the pitch looks like a turner, what do the selectors have to lose. But they won't because they are too scared to rock the boat. Problem is the boat has sailed and our team is losing matches from unlosable positions. Ponting could use some captaincy lessons as well.

  • CharonTFm on December 29, 2008, 12:54 GMT

    Hayden as great as a Batsman he is, I believe he is long overdue with his age. Keeping him in for as long as possible only prevents the Australian side from moving forward. You don't want to have a similar situation with the West Indies when all their great players retired close to one another leaving a really weak West Indies team. Giving younger players a chance like what they are doing with the South African and Indian's will only improve future of Australian Cricket.

  • Hardy_1984 on December 29, 2008, 12:50 GMT

    Really it is nice topic to talk about "Hayden" . As far as i am thinking Hayden is over aged now he has decide to quit cricket. Australian cricket is going a tough period. South African are doing very well Dumniy & Steyn did very well in 1st inning now the Australian team on the edge of loosing another match. First 2 days Australia are on top in this match but SA bounce back very well and they are now deserving a very good win tomrrow. Australian selecter has to think about Mr. Hayden. Ponting did well but can't win the alone. Other team have to support his captain.

  • sray23 on December 29, 2008, 12:46 GMT

    One only needs to look back to the start of Hayden's career in the '90s to realise why he should be dropped. He was all but a rabbit caught in headlights when facing the likes of Walsh, Ambrose and Donald. He was rightly sent back to domestic cricket and when he returned in 2001 against India he did so at a time when a lot of the great bowlers of Test cricket had finished playing or were nearing the end of their careers. His best years were in the 2000s at a time when decent attacks in Test cricket were virtually non-existent. He was largely a flat track bully against mediocre attacks and the one time he did face a Test class attack in the 2005 Ashes he was completely clueless. One can see the quality of attacks in Test cricket already improving in Tests now as new bowlers like Steyn, Stuart Broad and Ishant Sharma come up and hence it is difficult to see Hayden, at 37, performing against these bowlers in future. Hence he should go.

  • Dashgar on December 29, 2008, 12:42 GMT

    He shouldn't have played at the WACA let alone at Melbourne. If he plays at Sydney it is a further slap in the face to players like Rogers and Hughes who are making buckets of runs at first class level. I mean come on, he's averaging 11.29 this summer on the same pitches and against the same attacks that Mitchell Johnson is averaging 23.5. Thats got to tell you something. Yes he deserves more chances than your average Joe to regain his form but he's well and truely used up all his brownie points by now.

  • 10jqka on December 29, 2008, 12:26 GMT

    Where do i start from ok ... im sure everybody knows that hayden is a great opener for australia. I know he is also out of form because of some bad decisions he has made and some by the umpires. I am 100% sure that hayden will step up in his next test match in sydney and will make alot of runs. He has been also under alot of pressure under the media and i think they should just let him solve his own problems and over come them by the next week in sydney.

  • ziggywalrus on December 29, 2008, 12:23 GMT

    Bumpster, all you did there was regurgitate what other people had said in response to the other article about Hayden. What you should have done is a bit more research. You should have checked whether Australia had in fact played a World 11 and seen how Hayden did then. And of course you would find he did ok. http://content-www.cricinfo.com/statsguru/engine/match/221840.html

  • christydoran on December 29, 2008, 12:19 GMT

    Anybody that questions Matthew Hayden's cricketing ability and past achievments should metaphorically go jump in the lake. To average over 50 in test cricket in over 100 tests and 40 in OdI's is pure class. Hayden should be given the opportunity to be farewelled by the Australian public. Also in reference to an earlier coment about Hayden's arrogance made by Bumpster is stupidity and disrespectful. Although he has been made out to be a sledger he has always paid respect to his fellow team mates and is often one of the first to speak highly of an oppent. India for example spoke so highly of Hayden recently stating that he is the most important and feared batsman in the Austalian line up. Not only will Haydens batting be missed but also hes brilliant catching ability. Cheers to Haydos.

  • ZahidJamil on December 29, 2008, 12:18 GMT

    Yes, he is out of form and i believe that the sooner he retirefrom cricket is the better. I think they should replace him with phil jacques.

  • connieboy82 on December 29, 2008, 12:17 GMT

    What a disgrace this article is!!! Hayden is still a force in world cricket he's got some horrible decisions and his form will be back just give him some time!! He deserves the sydney test, the home one day series and another crack at the africans before you go making any descisions. The game has changed they are all athletes and Hayden is fit as a fiddle he could play for another 2 seasons yet. And he is not the reason why the team is failing what about the bowlers?? Lee is cooked and where did siddle even come from he's got 30 first class wickets. I find it hard to believe that the 3 highest wicket takers in first class cricket that being Hilfenhaus, bollenger and noffke from the last 3 seasons hasnt played one test!! And then we have a world class allrounder in shane watson who is in form and we dont pick ahead of symonds and then we're blaming hayden it's time that not only players are held accountable but also the selectors!

  • Janani26 on December 29, 2008, 11:59 GMT

    Hayden needs to call it quits and may be aus selectors will have to persist with him atleast for Sydney test since Lee and Symonds are likely to miss out and Aussies might need an experienced player at the top to support Ponting mentally. In the current form, Hayden is unlikely to create any impact, but his attitude might. Overall, he needs to go now, because his behaviour has been disgusting and he is not able to get away from top class bowlers like Zaheer Khan just with his arrogance which otherwise might have worked against some lesser known bowlers. Hayden has become more of a disruptive influence on the field with his comments and he has forgotten that a senior player like him needs to be restrained than setting wrong examples. The best thing will be to give him a decent chance at Sydney where he probably can play better without any pressure.

  • Sobers_Richards_Lara_WI on December 29, 2008, 11:10 GMT

    Haydos is in more than a slump, I think he has the same issue Dravid has. Two great batsman, averaging in the 50's yet cant build a score of 30 plus. Hayden has still got alot of cricket left in him, but this poor run, at home, must mean he gets dropped for at least one test, ie. The Sydney Test. This would be such a bad way, for a brilliant batsman like Hayden to bow out, but he would then always be in the back of the selectors minds, and can always have a comeback. If he does get dropped, Phil Hughes would be the perfect replacement. Phil Jacques has just come off an injury and should return to the State team to get some cricket back into him. Phil Hughes on the other hand, is having a Gem of a season and needs to make his way into the test arena soon, such talent cant be wasted.

  • andyjon on December 29, 2008, 10:59 GMT

    I would like him to continue and come over to England, it's always good for an early breakthrough

  • ihaq1 on December 29, 2008, 10:52 GMT

    Hayden is a 37 year old and however good he might have been his age, eyesight and height will have effected his batting against real quicks like steyn...australia has a lot of talented bowlers but they seem to have been going on with either injured bowlers or ineffective ones like siddle...when australia's strength is pace than play the top four pacemen...and obviously australia has the batting talent to replace hayden and might be even hussey and symonds...selection seems tobe either ricky ponting or the selectors problem...iffy selections like playing watson are not designed to win matches...u need five good batsmen and four fast bowlers...and if teh sixth is a top notch batsmen than so much the better...if australia lose this test than they can do a makeover as teh team is not really like an australian team anymore...bring tait back or pick the best speedsters from the available lot...try nathan bracken...,shaun marsh, david hussey, chris rogers, phillip hughes

  • jizzmaster on December 29, 2008, 10:43 GMT

    time to move on. As good as South Africa and India have been, Aus have been let down by poor selection and captaincy. They are carrying too many people (personally I think Symonds shuld be under more pressure, australia's allrounder policy is a joke) Ponting should step down although he wont.

  • ajikar on December 29, 2008, 10:29 GMT

    I must say that Aussies are great team. No doubt about that. But one thing is that they are struggling to get the rhytham what the greats of McGrath and Warene has left off. The time was over when only Aussies were in the top all the years. Now the TOP 3 will suffle even everymonth in the rankings. That will be sure that there is no superior team on Cricket. All are even... Lets see the drama...We wish a wonderful cricket in the year of 2009...HAPPY NEW YEAR

  • PcDadda on December 29, 2008, 10:25 GMT

    Yes, it seems the time has come for Hayden to leave. The Aussie selectors have not been known for sympathy - even the redoubtable Steve Waugh was politely nudged out - though he went out on his terms. One thing though is certain - if and when Hayden retires (is forced to retire) - he would not have too many sympathizers, especially in India. There is a strong perception that beneath a facade of religious belief he hid an ultra-aggresive demeanor and sledged, probably like no other Aussie cricketer bar his good mate Symonds - and reserved his worst on-field behavior against the Indians.

  • peeeeet on December 29, 2008, 10:18 GMT

    This predicament is a tough one for the Aussies. Our performances against India and SA, and even NZ, have not been up to standard, as none of the batsmen seem like they want to just dig in and play proper test cricket, they all get out playing too aggressively and having big "windy-woofs" at the ball. Having Hayden out of form contributes to this as they can't get a good platform at the start. On the subject of Hayden, if say Katich was in this form he would have been dropped a few tests ago. Because he has had a great career, he gets a little bit more time to prove himself. But can the struggling aussie team cope with an ageing out of form opener? The other side is that the team is vastly becoming inexperienced, so having him there provides great direction for the newcomers, and he does have a great record. There is a lot said about letting him finish on his terms, but I just don't see him batting his way back into form in the top level of cricket.

  • arya_underfoot on December 29, 2008, 9:59 GMT

    its unfortunate its come to this but hayden has to go. he's keeping an exciting, young and in-form opening batsman (phil hughes) out of the team. it does not serve anyone's cause (except south africa's), especially hayden's, if he keeps playing. he's already recognized as the most prolific modern-day opening batsman- that reputation can only be tarnished if he continues in his current form.

    but brydon is spot on in pointing out the differences between the trevor hohns led selection panel, and the current panel under hilditch. they're just too conservative and timid to make the hard calls.

  • Raju_Iyer on December 29, 2008, 9:45 GMT

    Whatt a fall, my countrymen! Truly has it been said that Pride will have a fall. Less than a year ago this same gentleman was comparing an opposition bowler to an "obnoxious weed" and today he himself is standing out like a sore thumb. I for one have no crocodile tears to shed, he was good but certainly not great, it helped that he was part of a strong team but humility a la Sachin Tendulkar was obviously not one of his virtues. Well, what Zaheer Khan began, Ntini, Steyn and Morkel have ended... Get moving Haydos, before you suffer the humiliation of being dumped...

  • TheDoctor394 on December 29, 2008, 9:42 GMT

    It's very sad. He's been a magnificent player for so long, but I think his time has come.

  • Adhil.mothie on December 29, 2008, 9:41 GMT

    I agree with bumpster,he has been exceptional against lower rated bowling attacks but against quality bowling which saf with steyn,ntini and co which i thought hayden will manage them with ease espically at home & also other teams he struggled against was india in india with harbarjan and zaheer,england away in the 05 ashes.even we had the better of him when nz toured aus this year,also he only excelled on flatter pitches espically in sydney and melbourne but on tougher conditions he was weak.i will love to see how australia's demise is followed hopefully like the way the windies gets it from the media @ every chance

  • Prats6 on December 29, 2008, 9:18 GMT

    Its quite laughable to even contemplate that Hayden should be dropped ! Look at the number of bad decisions he has got recently, starting from the India tour, 1st Match, both innings, And subsequently a couple more, Even against South Africa he has had the worse end of luck, You just cannot be correct in dropping him, Give him a decent run atleast. 4 Tests in India and 2 against SA ( where till now he has had at least 4 pathetic decisions going against in 6 tests) Its quite unfortunate to be honest, The day Australia tours India, we still think that Haydos is the one man we need to get out somehow, Its like if he fails, so do others, Go and ask any bowling attack in the world and they will say the same.

  • LarryLakeshore on December 29, 2008, 9:10 GMT

    The third test isn't that insignificant. If I have my facts right, should South Africa win, it will make them the no. 1 test side. The ausies in no way should see it as an opportunity to try something new out. Either way, if they play Hayden or whoever else, both of the options will still only get them maximum 40 runs. Rather stick with Hayden and hope he come right before the South Africa tour. I'm a South African, and am enjoying watching this fumbling Australian side crash and burn. Watching Ponting go on 99 was funniest thing I've seen in my life.

  • vikart on December 29, 2008, 9:00 GMT

    Shaun Marsh is also a good option. This is a good time to introduce him.

  • vezayar on December 29, 2008, 8:57 GMT

    bumpster, hayden has pillaged the best attacks world over for the past 8 years. how dare you say that his inception into world cricket, against the windies is the sole determinant on his ability as a player. Anyone who denies hayden is a great player is a fool. By the way, he destroyed an SA attack boasting ntini and pollock numerous times. He destroyed indian attacks on numerous occasions and if you bothered to do the research you would've found this out and alot more yourself. I've always been a big supporter of hayden, but coverdale has hit the nail on the head here, hayden should retire at the conclusion of this test and hughes should step in for the (likely) dead rubber. Hayden should have one more ODI series and then retire from international cricket all together.

  • has9 on December 29, 2008, 8:54 GMT

    I seriously love this player, with all honesty I would still want him to be given another chance, who knows what a good innings can do to one's confidence, for instance Ricky Ponting in this particular test match. Another thing the selectors in the previous panel had the comfort was an ongoing successful team. Just like successful players take risk, with the help of a successful team back then, the selectors could take risk in replacing players like Mark Waugh and replace and nurture a new player. that isn't the case this time around.

  • pknn on December 29, 2008, 8:53 GMT

    Rome will fall tomorrow ! The world is up for grasp..

  • Radomir on December 29, 2008, 8:53 GMT

    There is no excuse for his poor performances now, especially when Australia need runs most in the time of need when we are at the transition stage and we have left legends behind we needed someone to stand up and use experience to guide the team along. Hayden and Ponting have both failed to do this with their batting performances though Hayden more so. I am still perplexed as to why Brad Hodge is never considered when we think of the next replacement for Hayden. It is also clear that it is time for Symonds to leave as well, he doesn't know what he wants plus he is undisciplined. Time for Jaques, Rogers, Hodge and a young bloke like Phillip Hughes to step up to the ever faililng Australian Test Team.

  • ruvvy on December 29, 2008, 8:47 GMT

    Barking up the wrong tree again! Haydos need to be dropped not because of his string of low scores, but because of his 'match' fitness. Same is the case with the Symmo 'Roy'. Shane Watson is being unnecessarily victimised. He is in better form, he is a fast-medium bowler (unlike an off-spinning luxury). What a perfect foil he would have been to Lee & Johnson! Bunch of jokers (selectors) are more interested in being politically correct rather than taking some tough decision in the best interest of Ozzie cricket. Shane Watson seems to 'want to win' more than the big-bullies who supposedly have been there and done that.

  • aditya87 on December 29, 2008, 8:44 GMT

    Yes I think Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan exposed his frailties against the new moving ball earlier in the year, and he has also struggled against English swing - like in the 2005 Ashes. He struggles when the ball nips or seams a bit at pace; he cannot adjust his game - Steyn and co. proved this again. I think he's been a great player but his time has come.

  • SHANTIRATNAM on December 29, 2008, 8:35 GMT

    He is a great player, he has scored so many winning innings for Australia. The entire team is struggling, its not fair to put the blame on him. If at all Australia needs a change, all they need now is the change in captaincy, someone who can lead the team in a different way, some one who has more creative ideas to get the best out of the players available. Injecting new players is not a good solution when the team is struggling, the approach needs to change, for that the leadrship needs a change.

  • Wisdom_of_Cricket on December 29, 2008, 8:24 GMT

    First of all, there is a very good chance that the selectors will drop him for the likely dead rubber that we are about to have. And if they do drop him, he can still come back into the national side if he scores enough runs at the domestic level. However, it is unlikely that the selectors will give him a second chance after being dropped considering how old he is. But I think sometimes it is better not to make an announcement for retiring. I know a lot of players who have done that. e.g. Mohd Azharuddin, Lance Klusener, Jason Gillespie, Michael Bevan, Carl Hooper. I didn't hear of any of those players making a formal announcement for retiring from international cricket. They were dropped due to poor form or old age. So they felt it was better not to make a formal announcement.

  • ABP235 on December 29, 2008, 8:17 GMT

    Yes, he should. He is past his prime and has no age on his side. There are several younger cricketers in Australia who dont get any chances. Time to go, mate. What is wrong with Hussey? Does he have much chance to stay in the side? Isnt Brad Hodge a better player in the middle order on current form? Why arent they trying Shaun Marsh?

  • my_winners on December 29, 2008, 8:06 GMT

    If Hayden does not go along with Symonds it goes to prove that it is harder to get out of the Australian team than it is to get into it.

  • vishwanath.sreeraman on December 29, 2008, 8:01 GMT

    aussies are known to be ruthless in axing players. hayden has struglled for probably half a season and they have put so much pressure on him. the added pressure has surely told on his performance in the last 2 matches. aussies have been insensitive, becos hayden really has been the difference between the aussies and the rest. even after gilly, warne, and mcgrath left, u always felt that with hayden around, they were still superior. minus hayden it looks too weak. even in the so called lean patch he still has a managed a few good innings in india. byhis standards the season has been a failure, but great playeers need to be given extra rope. india has been excellent in handling dravid. aussies need to, for a change, look at india and learn.

  • abu_zayr on December 29, 2008, 7:56 GMT

    It's time to say goodbye Hayden.. Give more deserving openers a chance to wear the baggy green.. CA should also look to rope in more youngers players, I mean I don't tend to agree with their thinking of making potential players wait until they are 30 or 31 years of age before they are handed the baggy green.. They should given an opportunity when they in peak form (M.Hussey made his debut 3 years too late, just one example of what I mean by giving players chance at a more early age.) Good Luck Hayden! You've been a great entertainer..

  • Sreenivas.N.M on December 29, 2008, 7:55 GMT

    see.he is a great player.i personally feel he can play till next ashes.just give him some time.he will surely be back

  • Subra on December 29, 2008, 7:52 GMT

    After his years of service, it would be churlish to give him one final match as his farewell.

    Despite what Hohns and his selectors did, I hope that Hayden be given a decent send-off. He could, however; like Ganguly (earlier this year) inform the selectors that he wishes to retire after the Sydney Test.

    He deserves a decent farewell.

    Siva

  • Bumpster on December 29, 2008, 7:52 GMT

    Yes I do think Mr Hayden should retire as soon as possible, and from Australia's point of view this would allow a better,more technically sound opener to come in. I've never been impressed with Hayden as when he first started out in test cricket he struggled against the new ball and the likes of Donald,Ambrose and walsh found him out. He is very good on flat batting tracks and against medicore new ball bowlers but against a class fast bowler he looks all at sea.He is way over-rated and has benefitted alot from there being a lack of good quicks around. He tried to bully bowlers and this may work against poor attacks but not against good swing and seam. I for one will not miss him when he goes. His swaggering,arrogant behaviour on and off the field is nauseating and its now high time he shows a semblance of humbleness and goes quietly.

  • THE_MIZ on December 29, 2008, 7:50 GMT

    Yes, he is out of form and believe that the sooner they replace him the better. I think they should replace him with Phil Jacques

    Mr Jable

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  • THE_MIZ on December 29, 2008, 7:50 GMT

    Yes, he is out of form and believe that the sooner they replace him the better. I think they should replace him with Phil Jacques

    Mr Jable

  • Bumpster on December 29, 2008, 7:52 GMT

    Yes I do think Mr Hayden should retire as soon as possible, and from Australia's point of view this would allow a better,more technically sound opener to come in. I've never been impressed with Hayden as when he first started out in test cricket he struggled against the new ball and the likes of Donald,Ambrose and walsh found him out. He is very good on flat batting tracks and against medicore new ball bowlers but against a class fast bowler he looks all at sea.He is way over-rated and has benefitted alot from there being a lack of good quicks around. He tried to bully bowlers and this may work against poor attacks but not against good swing and seam. I for one will not miss him when he goes. His swaggering,arrogant behaviour on and off the field is nauseating and its now high time he shows a semblance of humbleness and goes quietly.

  • Subra on December 29, 2008, 7:52 GMT

    After his years of service, it would be churlish to give him one final match as his farewell.

    Despite what Hohns and his selectors did, I hope that Hayden be given a decent send-off. He could, however; like Ganguly (earlier this year) inform the selectors that he wishes to retire after the Sydney Test.

    He deserves a decent farewell.

    Siva

  • Sreenivas.N.M on December 29, 2008, 7:55 GMT

    see.he is a great player.i personally feel he can play till next ashes.just give him some time.he will surely be back

  • abu_zayr on December 29, 2008, 7:56 GMT

    It's time to say goodbye Hayden.. Give more deserving openers a chance to wear the baggy green.. CA should also look to rope in more youngers players, I mean I don't tend to agree with their thinking of making potential players wait until they are 30 or 31 years of age before they are handed the baggy green.. They should given an opportunity when they in peak form (M.Hussey made his debut 3 years too late, just one example of what I mean by giving players chance at a more early age.) Good Luck Hayden! You've been a great entertainer..

  • vishwanath.sreeraman on December 29, 2008, 8:01 GMT

    aussies are known to be ruthless in axing players. hayden has struglled for probably half a season and they have put so much pressure on him. the added pressure has surely told on his performance in the last 2 matches. aussies have been insensitive, becos hayden really has been the difference between the aussies and the rest. even after gilly, warne, and mcgrath left, u always felt that with hayden around, they were still superior. minus hayden it looks too weak. even in the so called lean patch he still has a managed a few good innings in india. byhis standards the season has been a failure, but great playeers need to be given extra rope. india has been excellent in handling dravid. aussies need to, for a change, look at india and learn.

  • my_winners on December 29, 2008, 8:06 GMT

    If Hayden does not go along with Symonds it goes to prove that it is harder to get out of the Australian team than it is to get into it.

  • ABP235 on December 29, 2008, 8:17 GMT

    Yes, he should. He is past his prime and has no age on his side. There are several younger cricketers in Australia who dont get any chances. Time to go, mate. What is wrong with Hussey? Does he have much chance to stay in the side? Isnt Brad Hodge a better player in the middle order on current form? Why arent they trying Shaun Marsh?

  • Wisdom_of_Cricket on December 29, 2008, 8:24 GMT

    First of all, there is a very good chance that the selectors will drop him for the likely dead rubber that we are about to have. And if they do drop him, he can still come back into the national side if he scores enough runs at the domestic level. However, it is unlikely that the selectors will give him a second chance after being dropped considering how old he is. But I think sometimes it is better not to make an announcement for retiring. I know a lot of players who have done that. e.g. Mohd Azharuddin, Lance Klusener, Jason Gillespie, Michael Bevan, Carl Hooper. I didn't hear of any of those players making a formal announcement for retiring from international cricket. They were dropped due to poor form or old age. So they felt it was better not to make a formal announcement.

  • SHANTIRATNAM on December 29, 2008, 8:35 GMT

    He is a great player, he has scored so many winning innings for Australia. The entire team is struggling, its not fair to put the blame on him. If at all Australia needs a change, all they need now is the change in captaincy, someone who can lead the team in a different way, some one who has more creative ideas to get the best out of the players available. Injecting new players is not a good solution when the team is struggling, the approach needs to change, for that the leadrship needs a change.